8 Ways a Tech Reverse Logistics Partner Enables a Circular Economy

8 Ways a Tech Reverse Logistics Partner Enables a Circular Economy

Looking to engage with a technology reverse logistics partner but unsure of the circular economy benefits? The move from a linear economy to a circular one is gaining more traction. It can save you money, boost your sustainability efforts, and improve efficiencies with your IT assets. 

We’re not like your typical 3PL company. Here at Ingram Micro Lifecycle, we provide extra value-added services alongside those standard of a 3PL company. We provide innovative solutions via a collaborative approach, relishing the opportunity. Technology is ever-evolving, and solutions must remain agile.

At the end of this article, you’ll understand eight ways a reverse logistics partner can go the extra mile in enabling a circular economy. 

Two routes to the same destination


There are different routes for your journey to a circular economy for your technology. Although the result is the same, the differing factor is where the ownership of the device sits

The owner is either the end-user customer or a business. Business owners include retailers, operators, insurers, and OEMs (Original Equipment Manufacturers). 

Route 1: The end user owns the device


The device goes back to them, and their experience is at the forefront. The aim should be to deliver a seamless experience resulting in satisfaction and retention. 

We’ve all been there – we know how frustrating it is to not have the technology we’ve become so reliant on. Your partner should keep the end user in the loop at every step, communicating when necessary.

But not too often! This reassures the end user that they're understood and are important. The end user wants an easy experience to get their desired outcome, not a battle at every step. 

Speed is of the essence in limiting the device downtime that users experience. Vast product knowledge and experience are key to continuity.

Route 2: There is no device user 


This process is all about extending the lifecycle of the technology. Again, speed is key. 

Whether you want to redeploy, recycle or resell your devices, a fast turnaround minimizes the associated risks of:

  • customer frustration
  • data security
  • loss of money

Your reverse logistics partner should work fast to get your devices to a near-new state so they can get reused wherever they need to be. 

Data-bearing devices will be securely wiped so they remain compliant, and mishandled data isn’t a threat to your brand integrity. Process and repackage unwanted stock sitting on your balance sheet, ready to recover maximum value via omnichannel sales.

8 ways a reverse logistics partner supports circularity


There are standard 3PL providers who offer a straightforward service. There are extra bells and whistles that you can look for, which will make sure you and your customers get added value. 

When looking for a reverse logistics company to partner with, these are eight extra-value services that will support your adoption of a circular economy.

1. Genuine, approved repairs

Make sure your reverse logistics partner has OEM accreditations. This provides access to original replacement parts and approved processes. Devices will be efficiently repaired using genuine parts to the manufacturers’ standards. This supports the longevity of use.

Parts harvesting occurs when a device is beyond economical repair. This enables cost-effective remanufacturing of similar devices.  

Repairers should check devices for Find My iPhone or alternative blocks to ensure the device can be reused. They should conduct software updates to ensure that devices are up to date.  

2. Increased accessibility of products

The repair processes provide a pool of high-grade devices, in an as-new condition, to be redeployed or remarketed. Your partner will be able to provide you with an accessible lower-cost option that has a lower environmental impact when compared to the manufacture and purchase of new devices. 

When supply chains face instability, this ensures a reliable supply of products as you can use repaired/refurbished rather than be reliant on the supply of new ones.  

3. Data compliance

All data-bearing devices must be securely wiped to industry-leading standards before processing to be legally compliant. Failing to do so can lead to huge fines. 

This means your partner should use industry-leading, specialized software to ensure nothing remains accessible.  

Breaching the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) would lead to a fine of either 4% of your annual turnover or €20 million (whichever is highest). There’d be immeasurable damage to your brand reputation and integrity.

4. Customization

Customers have the option to request configured devices. Specify the software and equipment you want your devices to be deployed with. 

The kitted device can be sent out exactly how customers need - with accessories or not.

Brand logos, motifs, and specific wording can be inscribed onto devices for an extra layer of personalization.

5. Inventory management

Look for a partner with warehousing available for stock management – customers can call off devices from a live inventory list. 

For customers with hybrid and remote-working staff, devices can be dispatched directly. 

They can also be provided with device support out in the field.  

6. Innovation through robotics


New technologies and innovative ways of working are emerging every day. 

These lead to more efficient approaches to work that maximize the productivity of employees without compromising on values. 

Make sure your reverse logistics partner has the passion and the ability to stay agile, keeping you ahead of the competition. 

7. Contact center

For consumer questions about their device (for example, from trade-in programs or insurance claims), some reverse logistics partners have access to a technical and non-technical contact center.

Friendly, knowledgeable staff are trained to guide and update customers at each step. 

8. Global scale

Does your logistics partner have the footprint available to suit your scale? 

If they don’t have global facilities then they won’t be able to meet growing demand. 

Think ahead to how your business might grow and how your demands may change. 

Planning for this now will save you the hassle of renegotiating with another partner at a later date. 

Let's chat about your reverse logistics requirements today 

Did you know that Ingram Micro Lifecycle can do everything above?  

For years, pulling apart and putting together technology has been part of our DNA. We know this technology inside and out. We strive to develop the best and most cost-effective lifecycle solutions for all technologies. 

We learn from testing them, taking them apart, and innovating in partnership with their manufacturers, operators, and retailers. As different technologies become more integrated into our lives, we’ve become more dependent on them. Keeping people connected by maintaining, reusing, and repurposing devices is paramount.

Our innovative solutions uplift the grade of devices, not just improving their useability through repair and refurbishment but also enhancing their cosmetic condition via professional polishing, ultimately extending the useful life of the device to recover value and reduce e-waste.  

Reach out to our experts using the orange button below, and they will be more than happy to discuss your reverse logistics needs.

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